Education

Cody High School’s Peggy Lynn Miller Receives 2014 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award

Gillette, WY (May 7, 2014) – A love of mathematics initially led Peggy Lynn Miller to pursue a degree in civil and architectural engineering. A college tutoring job with the University of Wyoming Athletic Department led her to the teaching profession. “My early experiences with tutoring inspired me to be a different kind of mathematics teacher – one that opens up mathematics to students through engagement,” Miller said. “I realized I was able to take complicated ideas and break those down into teachable parts.  

“When I entered the classroom for the first time, I realized I was not going to be a conventional teacher or have my classroom be a conventional place,” she continued. “I am driven by the desire to make the learning of mathematics as fun as it is challenging so that students can become the thinkers of tomorrow.”  

As a result of Miller’s ability to make mathematics relevant to her students, she received statewide recognition today. She was one of only 10 teachers to receive a 2014 Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. John W. Eaves, Arch Coal president and chief executive officer, made the announcement during a ceremony at Campbell County High School in Gillette. He was accompanied by Gov. Matt Mead, First Lady Carol Mead and Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter. This is the 14th year the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards have been presented in Wyoming. It is the longest-running, privately funded teacher recognition program in the state.  

“We’re honored to recognize the 10 outstanding Wyoming teachers who were named as this year’s recipients of the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards,” Eaves said. “Collectively, these 10 individuals represent all of the teachers statewide who are committed to making Wyoming thrive through educational excellence. Individually, they have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching children, and they work tirelessly each day to help their students succeed. For this, we applaud them.”  

Miller teaches mathematics to ninth- through 12th-grade students at Cody High School. She has 22 years of teaching experience. “All students learn and see the world differently,” Miller said. “Few textbooks or electronic learning opportunities can substitute for a compassionate teacher who is willing to develop knowledge through application. We learn best through doing and discussing.”  

“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Mrs. Miller as both my teacher and my swim coach,” said Gabriella LaBazzo, a Cody High School student. “In the classroom, she was very approachable when I came to her for help, and she made me feel like my questions were valid. She was always willing to meet with me after class for as long as I needed. As a swimming coach, Mrs. Miller showed extraordinary leadership skills. She was very supportive of every member of our team, and she was always positive.”  

Miller holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and mathematics education from the University of Wyoming in Laramie and a master’s degree in mathematics education from Oregon State University in Corvallis. She also received her National Board Certification in mathematics education. Miller participated in a three-year program, the Oregon Mathematics Leadership Institute at Oregon State University, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, and attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a week-long program on invention and design. She is training to be a mentor for those seeking National Board Certification. Miller has headed up the Link Crew student mentoring program and is the swimming coach for the middle school and high school swim teams in Cody. She also has been involved with the local Boy Scout program and DANO Outdoor Experience, which provides wilderness experiences to under-privileged youth.

Teachers are nominated by the public, and a blue-ribbon panel of past awards recipients selects the annual winners. Each Teacher Achievement Awards recipient is presented with a distinctive trophy, a classroom plaque and a $3,500 personal cash award.  

The Teacher Achievement Awards are underwritten by the Arch Coal Foundation and are supported in program promotion by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Education Association, the Wyoming library community, Taco John’s and Loaf ‘N Jug stores.  

Arch Coal and the Arch Coal Foundation have a long history of supporting educational and community causes in Wyoming. The Arch Coal Foundation also supports teacher recognition or grants programs in West Virginia and Colorado, as well as a number of other education-related causes. Information about each of today’s 10 Wyoming recipients, as well as past recipients, is posted at archteacherwards.com.  

St. Louis-based Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is one of the world’s top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, serving customers on five continents. Its network of mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. Arch Coal’s Thunder Basin Coal Company, which employs nearly 1,800 people in Wyoming, operates the Black Thunder and Coal Creek mines. For more information, visit archcoal.com and responsible.archcoal.com.